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Burns Is Gone — Are Couture, Karlsson, Hertl, or Meier Next?

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Credit: AP Photo/Josie Lepe

Who’s the next San Jose Sharks’ staple to leave town?

In April, GM Doug Wilson stepped down. In May, Patrick Marleau officially retired — and long-time AHL head coach Roy Sommer was kicked upstairs, John McCarthy taking over behind the San Jose Barracuda bench. This past week, long-time scouts Gilles Cote and Brian Gross retired, director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. left the organization, and Sommer went down the 5 to take over the San Diego Gulls. Today, Brent Burns was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Who would’ve guessed that buyout candidate Marc-Edouard Vlasic would be last man standing in all this upheaval! Vlasic was not bought out after a summer of speculation.

Need a ride to the airport, Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, or Timo Meier?

Let’s keep in mind that Karlsson, like Vlasic, is close to untradeable because of their contracts. Vlasic, 35, has four years left with a $7 million AAV and Karlsson, 31, has five years left with an $11.5 million AAV.

Couture, 33, is tough to trade at five years left with an $8 million AAV, though I suspect if the Sharks retained a reasonable amount, they could find a taker now.

New San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier, a long-time player himself, appears to be approaching each of his stars to ask if they want to be around for name your “R” word: Rebuild, refresh, reset, recharge, replenish, what have you.

Two days before shipping Burns out, Grier told the local media: “He’s been here a long time. He’s been a great Sharks player. I’ll let him kind of lead the way a little bit on that, go off his lead. As a former player myself, as you get older, you want to keep that competitive fire burning. And what keeps that burning is the chase for the Cup and winning.”

Burns spoke highly of Grier’s communication in his post-trade availability with Hurricanes media: “As a former player, he knows what I’m going through.

“We had a great talk about where I am in my career. He’s been very open and honest.”

In the end, the 37-year-old wanted to leave San Jose.

“He’s earned the right, if he said he wanted to stay here and go through this with us, we would have been more than happy to have him,” Grier revealed. “But like I said, I get it. He’s played a long time. He’s had a ton of success. We want him to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.”

Grier was open and honest with the local media today about the futures of Karlsson and Couture with the San Jose Sharks, and unprompted, also involved younger stars Hertl and Meier in the conversation too. The question to the GM: “Do you anticipate having any other conversations with your other veterans that were similar to the one you had with Brent?”

“I would let Erik lead the way,” Grier said, echoing what he shared about Burns. “Erik and I talked for about 20 minutes the other day, we had a really good conversation. I think he’s motivated, he’s feeling good. He’s training hard, enjoying being back home. I’m excited to see what he brings this season.”

How about the captain?

“Logan’s really excited,” Grier offered. “He said he can’t wait to get going and [is] looking forward to the season. We’re happy that we have him back, leading our group.”

As for Hertl, you have to wonder if the 28-year-old Czech centerman is having second thoughts about committing to San Jose for eight more years this past April. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Meier, an RFA after this season, has his future wide open. Does the Swiss winger want to spend that in San Jose?

“I gotta check in with Tomas, the time difference and everything, it’s been hard to get a hold of him,” Grier said. “Him and Timo.”

So stay tuned! The summer of upheaval in San Jose may not be over yet.

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Zeke

wrote about it before, wrote about yesterday. Trade Hertl, Timo and Barabanov as a package and get a ton of 1st round picks. Retain 50% on Hertl to max the return.

In other words, sell high while you can.

timorous me

You’re suggesting the Sharks retain $32.5 million on Hertl?? I know Hasso is really damn rich, but that is one big ask, no matter what kind of picks you’re getting in return!

Gary Caldwell

So, ice a team with no real top line? Is that what you’re suggesting here? I don’t believe any player in the current pipeline is ready to be playing a legitimate top line role without NHL experienced line mates. Not Eklund, not Bordeleau…Cooch is barely 2C at this stage in his career. If you move the top line as a package, then who takes their place? I get that rebuilds, and that is what’s truly happening here, require change to rosters but I’m not sure I understand the reasoning behind your suggestion beyond a sell high philosophy. Even a rebuilding… Read more »

Anson

Agreed. It also makes it hard to sell tickets with 4 lines of “A” players or bottom-six calibers. Rebuilds are a tough balance of keeping a core of veterans, drafting wisely, and making smart off-season transactions. I’m not sure bringing back Aaron Dell qualifies, but that’s why MG is in the driver’s seat and I’m not. I don’t believe any of the four aforementioned will be going anywhere. I predict Labanc is next and a few more moves to shuffle the pipeline.

Bubba Bighatt

Huh… So the Sharks are “re-building”… from what? I was in the first 800 to sign up for season tickets, at the Cow Palace. So I’m a long, long, long time fan. And all I’m feeling is ripped off. I’ve spent well over 150k for tickets and parking and beer and what not. Stupid… I could have had a Ferrari.

Anson

If winning is the only thing important to you, you might want to follow the Lightning. Some of us have enjoyed the playoff races and watching the careers of great Shark legends. $150k isn’t going to by you much of a Ferrari these days. Enjoy the game.

KE

Sharks just signed Aaron Dell. My oh my.

david barnard

2-way contract from what i can tell. i doubt he sniffs the NHL club, except in emergency.

KE

He’s there so they can trade Hill. They need to keep Reimer because of his experience in the net and give the boys confidence and workout chemistry. You can’t do that yet with Hill or Kappo. I believe Kappo is better than Hill. They will keep all three until the trade deadline and move Reimer to a contending team IMHO

spon

I’m used to this. I was an A’s fan. Tear down every few years.

Alaskan_ice

I have a hard time seeing either Timo or Tomas wanting to be moved. I think Karlsson and Couture are committed to leading them to even bigger roles.

Go Sharks!!

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